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Topping L30 Headphone Amplifier Review

Toku

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This L30 problem is a very rare case that occurs depending on the usage environment, and I think that it is not a problem that occurs for all users.
I think it happens when intense ESD occurs in an environment where the humidity in the room is extremely low.
In my environment, such intense ESD does not occur, so I will continue to use the ones from the current lot.

I had a similar problem with the DX3Pro's headphone amplifier before, after that, then changed the model to DX3 Pro LDAC.
However, as a result the performance of the headphone amplifier has deteriorated.
I used the two DX3 Pros I bought at that time as they were, but no problems occurred.
What changes have been made to this L30 issue? I hope it doesn't affect the sound quality ...
As I always think, Topping's attitude of valuing users is very wonderful.
 

Fluffeh

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I'm not comfortable recommending people who aren't experienced doing these kind of work.

And again, if the headphones don't burn, what's the problem? You'll get a replacement if your unit fails.

Lastly, just now we finally managed to reproduce the ESD problem and identify the failing components. There will be solution soon. For you personally, of course you can wait until the ESD issue being solved. It's all up to you. You already have all the information you needed to make a decision.

That's great news, thanks @JohnYang1997 !

Please let us know which upcoming version will include the ESD fix so we can specifically request that one later on :)

Some of us here probably got more frequent ESD occurrences, either because of low humidity or home items such as carpets (or cats...), and would be willing to wait a bit longer before getting a replacement unit.

Do you think the ESD-safe L30 could be ready for the February 2021 batch (S/N 2102) ?
 

Zikeee

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So, can improvements be made at home to still working L30 to not kill me or my HP?
 

renaudrenaud

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On a french forum we are few customers with this unit and the procedure for replacing the unit is starting. Thanks a lot to Topping for everything. Some people explained us we are ridiculous to buy low cost Chinese products, but it seems to me Topping is exemplary in his way to manage the problem.

Thanks a lot Topping: excellent products, excellent prices and now excellent customer management.
 

escalibur

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I'm not comfortable recommending people who aren't experienced doing these kind of work.

And again, if the headphones don't burn, what's the problem? You'll get a replacement if your unit fails.

Lastly, just now we finally managed to reproduce the ESD problem and identify the failing components. There will be solution soon. For you personally, of course you can wait until the ESD issue being solved. It's all up to you. You already have all the information you needed to make a decision.
Please inform Shenzen Audio (if you already haven't) about this? It seems that we will have 2 'fixed' versions.
 

Lucco

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After reading several pages of this topic, I will try to make a summary to help users who are concerned about the situation and will not have time to read everything...

1. Topping L30 (serial number 2011 or lower)
- Has the DC problem
- Has the ESD problem
- In this condition, in rare cases, your L30 can fail and damage your headphone as well.

2. Topping L30 (serial number 2012 or higher)
- Has an updated DC protection system
- Has the ESD problem
- In this condition, your L30 is safe, but like any other equipment, in rare cases, your L30 can fail, but your headphone will be protected.
*if your L30 fails (in the warranty period), Topping will replace it.

3. [In the future] Topping L30 (serial number 21XX or higher)
- Will have an updated DC protection system
- Will have an updated ESD protection system
- In this condition, your L30 will be "safe as hell (safer than most others!)"...
When the pot shaft is connected to the groundplanes (top and bottom side it seems) and the volpotnut has a ring on it that pierces the anodized part at least the front panel is grounded. It would be easy to create a good connection from the frontpanel to the enclosure as well. The frontplate is glued on it later. In this case the enclosure and shaft are connected to the ground. Personally, when the switches are merely soldered onto pads for sturdyness I would also connect those to the groundplane. You don't want any sparks on the inside of the enclosure. It should take the lowest resistance path which is the groundplane.
With these measures and the correct DC protection the amp is safe as hell (safer than most others !)
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
*If I made a mistake or if I forgot something, please let me know so I can update it.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Importante information:
I'm not comfortable recommending people who aren't experienced doing these kind of work. And again, if the headphones don't burn, what's the problem? You'll get a replacement if your unit fails.
Lastly, just now we finally managed to reproduce the ESD problem and identify the failing components. There will be solution soon. For you personally, of course you can wait until the ESD issue being solved. It's all up to you. You already have all the information you needed to make a decision.


Excellent questions from other users...
1)
Do you think the ESD-safe L30 could be ready for the February 2021 batch (S/N 2102)?
2.
Please inform @SHENZHENAUDIO (if you already haven't) about this? It seems that we will have 2 'fixed' versions.
Please @JohnYang1997 , keep us updated... ;)
 
Last edited:

Lucco

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Really sorry for this inconvenience, SHENZHENAUDIO always here to provide you a satisfactory. Thanks for your support. If your L30 has any problem welcome to contact us or the seller you purchased.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: https://twitter.com/shenzhenaudio/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/shenzhenaudio/
Discord: https://discord.com/invite/qJrSWrT
I also bought my Topping E30/L30 at @SHENZHENAUDIO and would like to congratulate the store. I received a excellent support to proceed with the exchange/refund of my Topping L30.
 
Last edited:

bt3

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Jun 27, 2020
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Purchased L30 on Nov. 2020 with S/N beginning in 2008.
#1 concern for me is possible exposure to loud noise from failure while listening to headphones.
Nine years ago I was pumping-up a tube/tire on my Merlin bike, with my right ear very close
to the tube when it exploded. Have had a constant hum (frequency and volume of hum wavers ) in my right ear ever since.
An audiologist informed me my tinnitus is permanent. I am very careful with listening levels and being around any noises in/around my
environment. I plan to continue using the L30 (with the E30 purchased at same time), but will return my L30 for latest (corrected) version when it becomes available to my authorized seller.
 

escalibur

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Jul 2, 2018
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After reading several pages of this topic, I will try to make a summary to help users who are concerned about the situation and will not have time to read everything...

1. Topping L30 (serial number 2011 or lower)
- Has the DC problem
- Has the ESD problem
- In this condition, in rare cases, your L30 can fail and damage your headphone as well.

2. Topping L30 (serial number 2012 or higher)
- Has an updated DC protection system
- Has the ESD problem
- In this condition, in rare cases, your L30 can fail, but your headphone will be protected.
*if your L30 fails and it is within the warranty period, Topping will replace it.

3. [In the future] Topping L30 (serial number 20XX or higher)
- Will have an updated DC protection system
- Will have an updated ESD protection system
- In this condition, your L30 will be very safe ...

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
*If I made a mistake or if I forgot something, please let me know so I can update it.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Importante information:



Excellent questions from other users...
1)
2.
Please @JohnYang1997 , keep us updated... ;)
@SHENZHENAUDIO Please confirm, may we have the 3rd (fully fixed) version as a replacement?
 

Fluffeh

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I think, in point 3, updated DC protection is already there. John was also saying that, from Day1, DC protection by design was better than amps such as O2, and others, and Topping has further enhanced it in L30. solderdude made a point regarding this; saw it in one of your posts.

[Others can correct me, saying this from memory].

Apparently yes, the DC voltage regulation from the December 2020 batch (S/N 2012 and +) has been fixed but it only prevents the L30 killing/damaging the headphones or IEMs plugged into it if the op-amp fails catastrophically.

So the L30 from the S/N 2012 batch is still be vulnerable to ESD, and while your ears and your headphones/IEMs might survive a 2012 unit failing catastrophically, the L30 itself might still die from ESD.

What some of us (including, I think, escalibur) were asking about was the possible upcoming version of the L30 that will also include additional protection against ESD.
 
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Fluffeh

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It states that, In the future, DC protection will be there. That part might be incorrect, but I leave it to you and F. L.N.
Thanks for summarizing.
ESD, he has covered in 3010, in case you need some pointers - that they have identified (?) the error, and so on. And that he will revert. Okay, you are asking ETA for that.

DC protection has always been there, even on "old" units.

According to John, it just wasn't working properly until they fixed it in the December 2020 (S/N 2012) batch.

See his post here : https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...e-amplifier-review.15226/page-124#post-630733

And yes, we are now asking about the upcoming units that will also have ESD protection.
 

Fregly

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Dec 12, 2018
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I am surprised everyone is so sanguine about this, the potential for ear damage ( I have the bad serial number). My Dx3pro had problems too. That makes 2 of 3 Toppings product for me that have not worked out. I am afraid I am done with the company. Good thing I kept my Atom, which I just set up again with the E30.

Purchased L30 on Nov. 2020 with S/N beginning in 2008.
#1 concern for me is possible exposure to loud noise from failure while listening to headphones.
Nine years ago I was pumping-up a tube/tire on my Merlin bike, with my right ear very close
to the tube when it exploded. Have had a constant hum (frequency and volume of hum wavers ) in my right ear ever since.
An audiologist informed me my tinnitus is permanent. I am very careful with listening levels and being around any noises in/around my
environment. I plan to continue using the L30 (with the E30 purchased at same time), but will return my L30 for latest (corrected) version when it becomes available to my authorized seller.
 

Veri

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Feb 6, 2018
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Just scratched my current L30 chassis for a photo and will get shipped a brand new one. I can deposit the old one to recycling center. just hope the new one will have the same superb volume balance and zero knob play like my current one :D

For the price I put into the L30 amp, I got lots of use out of it and now a replacement, just to be sure. I feel like I can't really complain..
 

rollermine

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Oct 10, 2020
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I have already thrown away the box and the label on the main unit has been peeled off, so I can't confirm the serial number.
Does this string on the PCB help me to know the beginning of the serial number?
IMG_0535.jpg
 

solderdude

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solderdude

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Just scratched my current L30 chassis for a photo and will get shipped a brand new one. I can deposit the old one to recycling center. just hope the new one will have the same superb volume balance and zero knob play like my current one :D

For the price I put into the L30 amp, I got lots of use out of it and now a replacement, just to be sure. I feel like I can't really complain..

I say: don't bin the old one. Keep the PCB for spares (potmeter, switches) you may be able to prolong the life of the new one.
Perhaps the current batch can be made ESD safe as well (I assume it is just potmeter shaft grounding and switches).
 

Jose Hidalgo

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3. [In the future] Topping L30 (serial number 20XX or higher)
For the record, the future Topping batches will probably NOT be called 20XX.
If you haven't noticed, 2011 simply means "november 2020". 2012 means "december 2020". And so on.
The next batches should logically be 2101, 2102, 2103... ;)
 
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